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Let's not be naive… warns Barroso

(BRUSSELS2) This was somewhat the meaning of certain elements of the speech on the “State of Europe” delivered yesterday (Thursday, November 9) in Berlin, the President of the European Commission.

Strengthened governance of the euro zone does not mean doing less abroad, on the contrary

José-Manuel Barroso, of course, focused his intervention on economic questions. But he also wanted to demonstrate his attachment to a certain political Europe and… to European defense. “ We need a Union of responsibility but also of solidarity. If we agree that we share a common destiny, then we belong (to the same) together. Strengthened governance of the euro zone must be a central pillar (…). But this should not detract from the importance of strengthening European integration in other areas, notably Foreign Affairs and the Common Security and Defense Policy. Europe can only count in the world if it is strong and actively united around its values ​​and interests. » Because – he added – “ Let us not be naive, without a political dimension, without a diplomatic dimension and without also the capacity to project power, we will not be able to face the challenges of the world of today and tomorrow. »

Let the grumpy people not stop others from moving forward

Then the president attacked head-on the grumpy and bad students. " The speed of the European Union, and a fortiori of the euro zone, cannot be the speed of the slowest or most reluctant of its members. It exists and it must exist – and indeed it does! – backup devices for those who do not want to move forward. But it's one thing to not move forward, and quite another to stop others from moving forward.. » And tack! A statement which could very well be applied to defense policy and clearly attacks the Mister No's of the European cause, starting with the first of them: the United Kingdom.

A Stone in Sarkozy's Garden, Van Rompuy and Merkel: intergovernmental cooperation does not work

And in his momentum, Barroso continued to engage in a (strong) criticism of “intergovernmental cooperation” which has not proven its effectiveness. Intergovernmental cooperation defended in some way by France (and also Germany), but also by the President of the Council, Herman Van Rompuy. “ Europe must not go backwards with the kind of developments that would only take place through intergovernmental cooperation alone. This would take us back to the 19th century (…) when peace and prosperity were supposed to be guaranteed through a precarious balance between a limited number of powers – the great powers, middle powers, small powers in Europe. We know very well that this kind of balance of power does not work. »

Full speech: B2 docs

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).